In the olden times the wiseacres--the teachers, the professors, the learned men of the healing profession, priests, and lawyers--declared that disease was a punishment sent upon man by his God for being wicked. Epidemics were sent by God to kill many people because they had incurred His divine wrath. The cure, of course, was logical; namely, appease the wrath of God. And, as divine wrath required human sacrifice, the doctors, priests, and their allies put the people to the rack. If they had not performed their duty in this respect, they would have become "participes criminis," and in turn would have brought punishment upon themselves.
It is unnecessary to enter very largely into a description of the therapeutics (the cures) of that day. Those who would have a minute history of the cause and cure of disease in those days should read the sacred and secular histories of that time. And those who would have the whole truth should not neglect reading history on down to the "History of Celebrated Crimes" by Alexandre Dumas. Then, while engaged in that study, it would be well to follow it down to the anointed of today, and behold the greatest of all great wars--a logical sequence of all that has gone before. In it, behold a drastic and most heroic treatment of almost the entire world for the commonest and least understood diseases of mankind--namely, selfishness, ignorance, stupidity, and incorrigibility!
Disease is not an entity, the nature and cause of which can be summed up as is done in the profession's "blue book," known as "Medical Nomenclature," which starts with "abasia" (lost power to stand) and "adenoids," and ends with "yellow fever" and "yellow jaundice." No name ever fits a disease; for cause is multiple--many-factored--and the causes and factors vary in quantity and quality.
The commonest cause of disease is, first, last, and all the time, overindulgence of appetites and passions. In the primitive age, man was protected by the simple life. Instinct and absence of imagination controlled him sensually. As social life or civilization advanced, morality evolved. Up to this time man had been unmoral. The ABC of morality is self-consciousness; and the first act, after selfconsciousness is born, is to clothe nakedness. It is obvious to the discerning that sexuality is the rock on which morality is based, and alimentation is the rock on which life, health, and body development are built.
Fundamentally, then, the life of man rests on sexuality and nutrition: he must be begotten, and then he must be fed.
In the subconscious state these processes are carried on by the cosmic urge--the subtle, developmental energies of nature. We see the birds in the springtime mating, nesting, and raising young. If the nest is destroyed with the eggs, another nest is built and other eggs are laid; with nothing to account for the whole procedure except want, or the developmental urge. It is long after this before ratiocination comes on the psychological stage.
Man has the cosmic urge manifesting in want of food and want of family. Around and about these fundamental wants springs up everything in man's life. The manner in which he satisfies these wants determines his moral status, and his moral status marks the degree of health and the length of life which he enjoys. The world is taught a morality separated and apart from health and its fundamentals, but it is stupidly idealistic and devoid of sense and reason. When we know enough, we shall be able to see that all our physical and mental woes are brought upon us because of such false reasoning. World-wars are built out of such morality.
At the birth of man's freedom from the slavery of the subconscious rule, he interprets his freedom as license, and his conduct is governed by brutal selfishness; he glories in satisfying appetite and passion, and to the protesting voice his answers are sneers and curses. The first check that comes to him in the drunken revel with which he celebrates his freedom to eat, drink, and be merry, is religion. Religion brings its appeal to his moral, esthetical, and intellectual nature before these potentialities are evolved. Instead of appealing to the physical--the base on which these higher qualities depend--and preparing this base for the evolution of the ethical, esthetical, moral, and religious, the whip of fear has been held over him. He has been taught that he must love God--and that, too, without anything except a grotesque knowledge of the Deity; he has been forced to acknowledge a love he could not feel, and to worship without desire; for, when man worships intelligently, he must know the being worshiped, and this being must have qualities of character that draw respect, love, and worship. Respect is founded on knowledge; love springs up when the object possesses lovable qualities; worship comes when the object loved proves to be the embodiment of perfection, as we understand it.
Man has been forced to confess respect, love, and worship for a formulary morality, creed, and God, under penalty of future punishment, or, what is worse, social ostracism. This coercion made a slave of him, and he has secretly rebelled. 'This rebellion has grown a hypocrisy that may be described as an immorality dolled up to give a presentable appearance. A religion and morality by title only is a monstrosity without sense or reason--a thing professing one thing and living another. Man is suffering in body and mind from this fallacious education, and he will get rid of it as soon as he awakens to a knowledge of his horrible predicament. Man is certainly suffering from respectable false teachings which have made him mentally blind.
Is nature, by this World War, endeavoring to wake man out of his moral lethargy? If it kills forever our slavery to a morality that builds hypocrisy as its principal asset, impoverishing the earth and killing off the flower of our manhood may be as small a price as can be asked for so great a service; but would it not be the irony of hen if our reconstruction would be on the same old ethical conception? This will certainly be our fate, unless autocracy, imperialism, Caesars, kings, presidents, and all classes of rulers who have a God as a silent partner, are put out of business.
Man has made the mistake of attempting to bridge the distance from aboriginal ignorance to a state of intelligence and moral responsibility that can never be realized until appetite and passion are controlled through intellect, and not through sentiment, emotionalism, or fear of God.
Disease is ignorance--the greatest foe to Truth, to Nature, to Nature's God, to the Universe.
Ignorance per se is not dangerous to truth. Indeed, truth would have no trouble with ignorance, if it were not for the retinue of lieutenants and attendants who hover about this great mass of intellectual stone--of undifferentiated mental protoplasm--which selfish jugglers--moral perverts-convert into a veritable King Juggernaut.
Chief among the hordes of advisers on the staff of King Ignorance is the commander-in-chief, Knave, who is not ignorant, but who finds rebellion against truth more to his liking, and to serve his purpose best. It is he who upholds "law and order," the better to fleece the public. He is in the forefront of every reform. His culminating influence is always faced opposite the direction in which he appears to be going. He is the eyes, ears, and tongue of King Ignorance. His selfishness, vanity, jealousy, and dishonesty prejudice Ignorance against Truth to such a degree that the great king of the nether world remains hopelessly blind and deaf. Surely there is no blindness so blind as the blindness that will not see, and deafness so deaf as the deafness that will not hear.
Now that we have defined, in as concise a statement as we can, the reason why truth is so slow in delivering humanity out of the bondage of ignorance, we shall try to show why appetite, passion, and license are the slogans that win and keep the majority on the side of ignorance.
As stated before, the first great cause of disease, as interpreted by selfish ignorance, was an offended Deity who sent disease as a punishment. The cure had to be procured through an intermediary who had power, through grace, to change the mind of the Deity. There never has been a time, since man could begin to do anything for himself in the line of interpreting his relationship to nature, or turn his eyes within to interpret law for himself, that there has not been a priest, a doctor, a lawyer, or some other self-opinionated interpreter, to obstruct his vision and mystify his understanding. These obstructionists are there ostensibly for the glory of God and the good of the people.
The criminal type of selfishness is always doing something great and glorious for the dear people, which, when understood, means more shackles of slavery.
Autocracy is another name for theocracy. Both assume the right to impose their conceits on mankind. Autocracy has always been handed down to the people in a capsule of religion. The people have been made to believe that they cannot save themselves without a vice-regent. Governments have been in partnership with God in fooling the people. We have a republican form of government, but the pollen of autocracy has blown over us until much of our democracy is fertilized by imperialism. These are truths that are not understood, because we are blind to our faults and are possessed of a maudlin sentimentality regarding our religion.
In the matter of disease and healing, the people have been treated as serfs. The doctor is a dictator who knows it all, and the people are stupid, dumb, driven cattle, fit for nothing except to be herded together, bucked, and gagged when necessary to force medical opinion down their throats or under their skins.
When I was quite young I looked upon the medical profession as a noble, benevolent, philanthropic institution, to which I desired to belong, that I might do good and feel the thrills which come to a man who can be proud of his work. There are a lot of good men in the profession who have been deluded in the same way, and who are doing their best to right errors; but the knaves predominate.
I soon found that darkness prevailed where I thought light was to be found. I found that professional dignity was more often pomposity, sordid bigotry, and gilded ignorance. But I flattered myself that growing knowledge would do away with professional bigotry, and that good will, liberality, and democracy would prevail. But that belief has proved a pipe-dream of youth. I could not see how far down the roots of selfishness, ignorance, and bigotry went. I have learned since they go too deep for man to remedy. We know now that medical, religious, legal, political, and social bigotry is of imperial origin, and that imperialism has the power and unvarying persistence to convert all knowledge into an autocratic aristocracy, which makes itself the moral, intellectual, and material master of independent, individual thought and action. Czarism and Kaiserism have never been more autocratic, in controlling the people, than the medical profession of the United States is attempting today, and no rule has been founded on more ignorance and bigotry.
The "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is one of many fundamental, self-evident aphorisms which are beautiful, sentimental, and humane, and which we use in decorating memorials, constitutions, and like instruments that we adopt, resolve, and preamble, while we are receiving a fresh baptism of democracy, and are hysterically ecstatic and flushed with the heat of success in vanquishing the enemies of our freedom--our liberties. But while we are celebrating our right to life and liberty, the medical profession, backed by state law, is herding our children to the vaccinator and serum-injector, and teaching medical opinions in our schools that are as false as the imperialism that makes such an outrage on human rights possible. Would it be possible to have a rational physiology adopted in our schools? Whoever believes it is laboring under a delusion. Can a liberal medical educator lecture in our public schools or before mothers' meetings the second time? Whoever believes it is laboring under a delusion. Could a play in opposition to the teachings of "Damaged Goods" be licensed to go before the people, as that scientific fallacy has been? I do not believe it. And, in the face of this imperialism, we, as a people, are stupid enough to boast of our "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit" of knowledge!
In medical matters, the imperial noose is being insidiously drawn tighter and tighter, under the pretense of protecting the dear people from disease. The plan is well organized. Little by little the rights of the people are being usurped, and the will of the usurper is being enforced.
Unless republican imperialism goes out with the kaiseristic and czaristic imperialism of Europe, which is now, we hope, preparing for its death-throes, we shall have saddled upon us a medical hierarchy, with its pope in the cabinet.
What right has American medical science to imperialistic dominancy? None whatever, unless it can prove its infallibility--which it has not done and which it cannot do. The truth of this assertion I shall endeavor to set forth by showing that modem medical science, as taught and practiced today, is a fallacy, and can never be anything else until it changes its fundamental beliefs on etiology and therapeutics.
What is disease and its cure? I shall attempt to show that disease is not an entity, not an evil spirit, not a willful secession of one or more organs out of the union of organs which go to make up man's body, but simply a derangement of the normal functioning of the body, brought about by physical and mental influences which, when understood, can be avoided or controlled by the individual himself.
This being true, it should be obvious to all that, if the cause of disease can be understood by anyone, prevention and cure are within the reach of anyone--even the most simple-minded. Instead of the theory and practice of medicine being an occult science, mysterious and hard to understand, it should be simply a matter of common sense that is within the grasp of any sane mind, educated or not.
What is health? Certainly not an entity; it is a state of the body in which a feeling of well-being is experienced.
There cannot be perfect health; for that would mean a perfect balancing of the forces within and the forces without; and that cannot occur outside of a vacuum--and life cannot continue in a vacuum.
Health being a state of the body, it varies from good to bad; and bad health is what we call disease.
Any influence of a physical or mental character may be health-building or disease-building; or the influence may be good or bad, depending upon its extent.
Man a Digestive Apparatus
The simplest definition for man is that he is a digestive apparatus. Food is taken into the stomach and bowels, where it is dissolved--brought to the liquid state--and then absorbed into the circulation and distributed throughout the body. From this circulating medium the cells of the various tissues of the body select the food elements required to do their work.
This process is called nutrition. When nutrition is going on normally, the standard of health is normal. Any influence that decreases, increases, or prevents nutrition is disease-producing, or, in better words, lowers the health standard.
The detrimental influences of nutrition may begin in the stomach; yet, farther back, the chewing may be imperfect; and, farther back still, the food may be imperfectly prepared.
The common cause of gastro-intestinal indigestion is enervation and overeating.
Nerve energy is required to digest food; nerve energy is required to keep up secretions and excretions; nerve energy is required to prepare enzymes for digesting our food intake and keeping up a normal resistance to environmental influences as well as those that are autogenerated.
When this nerve energy is up to the standard, we are poised--or balanced, as it were, with our environments--and we can eat a maximum amount of food, and take care of it. This being true, it should be obvious to those who care to reason that any influence which uses up nerve energy lowers the digestive powers of the body, and that an amount of food which can be utilized when the nerve energy is up to standard must necessarily be too much when the energy is used up in work, play, or sensual indulgence.
It should be obvious to any reasoning mind that a full dinner taken into a tired body cannot be digested properly; that a full meal, or any meal at all, eaten by one in great mental anguish over some great trouble, cannot be digested. And, when food is not digested, it becomes a poison.
It should never be forgotten that food taken into the body is man's food or bane. There is no neutral ground. This explains why enough food at one time may be too much at another time.
When food is taken into the stomach in too great quantities--more than the digestive secretions (enzymes) can dissolve--digestion takes place on the outside of the ingested meal, and continues until the digestive energy is used up. As fast as the food is liquefied, it passes out through the pylorus, where, in the duodenum, it meets with other enzymes and is further fitted for absorption. Absorption is going on as fast as the food is liquefied enough to fit it for absorption, which is in a very short time after leaving the stomach.
When enzymic fermentation--digestion---ends, bacterial fermentation of the remainder of the food in the stomach begins. One or the other of these fermentative processes must go on, or eating will end; for, unless the food is liquefied, it cannot get out of the stomach and bowels.
There is no question about the necessary and beneficial action of the bacteria that are in us and about us all the time. The germs that infest our bodies, our food, our atmosphere, our soil, are necessary to our existence. If they were not, they would not be there. Nature never stultifies herself; there is a reason for everything, and that reason is backed by the logic of the Absolute.
The weakest point in modern medical science is its teachings on bacteriology. It teaches that germs cause disease. If that could be proved, it would establish demonology, and chaos would reign supreme. Good and bad entities cannot exist in the same universe. Good, when ill-used, is made less good; but good is a state, and all states fluctuate from what we call good to what we call bad. The two extremes, however, are two points of view of the same state. There is no room for bad, except as a figure of speech with which to measure or contrast degrees of good. There is no disease per se--only different degrees of health. There is no bad per se--only different degrees of good.
Germs, food, sunshine, air, all the elements, are friends or foes to man. They are his health or his disease, depending entirely upon how they are used.
Germs are as necessary as water. If we are deprived of water, we soon die; if we are submerged into water, we die quickly; if deprived of a reasonable amount of germs, we are made sick, or, if infested with too many, we are made sick or die.
The Sterilized Are Sick and Die
The only two men who persistently practiced sterilizing their food and drink lived semi-invalid lives, and died at that time in life when mind should be at the acme of value. I have reference to Professors Pasteur and Metchnikoff. There may have been others--perhaps Koch--but I do not now recall them. These two men were the fathers of bacteriology.
We :have seen that digestive secretions--enzymes--unorganized ferments--are necessary to dissolve food and prepare it for absorption, and that bacteria--organized ferments--are necessary to dissolve food and prepare it for expulsion from the body. Bacteria are necessary to dissolve food taken in excess of what can be liquefied and utilized by enzymic digestion. Organized ferments--germs--belong to the health department of our bodies; they keep the sewers, gutters, and alleys clean. If they ever become a menace, it is when they become too officious and try to dictate, as the health departments of our cities sometimes do. Their failure, however, is often due to an oversupply of work.
The bacteria cause acetic and alcoholic fermentation of the carbohydrate (starchy) foods; and the same bacteria cause a putrefactive decay in the nitrogenous or proteid (animal) foods, with the development of toxin and the giving-off of offensive gases which are toxic.
Fermentation and Decomposition Defined
Bacterial fermentation of carbohydrate foods develops toxin which causes acidosis (the scurvy or scorbutus of former days), and is the cause of simple irritations, catarrhal inflammations, and ulceration. Fermentation of animal proteid foods develops toxin which causes putrefactive irritations, inflammations, ulcerations, and cancers. In both forms of fermentation, at an early day, the normal alkalinity of the blood is reduced, causing such minor systemic derangements as irritability, despondency, fault-finding, general nervousness, headaches, tired feelings, backache, gas in the bowels, constipation, and, to cover the whole subject with a blanket term, neurasthenia.
This is a state of malaise or dysphoria that makes its victim easy prey to the palliation of overstimulation. At first relief is found in more eating, because all food is more or less stimulating; but with the increase in food stimulation come more and more discomfort, more wants; in a word, more dysphoria. If not used before, tobacco, coffee, tea, and perhaps light alcoholics, are now resorted to, to find surcease from discomfort.
This is man's state of being, brought about by life's labors, pleasures, and griefs. Here is where he parts company with normal comfort, and begins to cultivate abnormal, artificial, or toxic comfort. It is here that more food than is needed for health and well-being is taken. From this point, food develops acid, alcohol, and toxins. It is at this stage that the Caucasian seeks relief in alcoholics, tobacco, coffee, tea, and a few of the various palliative remedies of the world; while the Chinaman begins to woo his "white lady"--the extract of the poppy flower, the East Indian to chew his bhang, the West African his kola, the Yemen Arab his khat; and other peoples resort to some sort of anesthesia. Since the world began, man has endeavored in some way to secure relief from his discomforts by resorting to ecstasy, incantations, drugs, hypnotism, or any unnatural palliation, rather than earnestly to search for cause and remove it.
Average men would rather live under anesthesia and enjoy half-efficiency than live twice as long and enjoy full efficiency by dropping the habits that bring discomfort and make stimulants necessary. There is a fascination about deadened sensation, and the mental indifference it brings, which average human beings cannot rise above when once under the spell. The drug system of treating disease appeals to this maudlin sentiment; hence its great popularity--it appeals to the vagabond in man.
After palliation has kept dysphoria, malaise, discomfort, and pain subdued until disorganization threatens, the victim of sensuality must retrace his steps and pay for health with the pain and discomfort he refused to bear in his fool's errand after surcease and cures (?).
In the advanced state-when enervation is established--there are developed the so-called contagious and infectious diseases; in children, enlarged tonsils and lymphatics, and the development of adenoids; in adults, ulcerative catarrhal inflammations of the mucous membranes, chronic inflammations and ulcerations of the lymphatic glands, pulmonary tuberculosis, syphilis, and cancer. It is well to keep in mind that microbic differentiation is in keeping with the chemic medium. Instead of the germ individualizing pathologic processes, it is individualized by the medium in which it is fortuitously placed. In other words, microbic individuation is wholly dependent upon environment; not as bacteriology, in its most refined state, would have us believe, namely, that environment is dictated by the microbethat germs determine the character of the disease. Without giving the subject any thought, almost anyone will jump to the conclusion, after hearing the advocates of the system declare that germs cause disease, that the claims of bacteriology must be true; but when we realize that a ferment is capable of bringing about a change in a chemical medium without itself taking on change, and that, when the ferment is placed in a fruit medium, a starch medium, and a proteid medium, the change in each medium is peculiar to the medium and not to the ferment, it begins to cause doubt to spring up in our minds concerning the germ theory; and when we learn from experience that by withholding food from a typhoid, a diphtheria, or a syphilitic patient, the symptoms begin almost immediately to show amelioration, it is then we know that the claims of bacteriology are false; for, if they were true, the withholding of food--the depleting of the body in any way--would subject it to the ravages of germs.
Stopping food allows the enzymic secretions to catch up with the pathologic tissue change brought about by bacterial fermentation, and as soon as the enzymes are equal to the digestive requirements the germs subside.
It should be known that the reproductive products of all parasites are digested by normal digestive secretions, and the power to start fermentation by the bacteria is made impossible by a full and normal enzymic secretion.
The germs undoubtedly unite with the enzymes for the purpose of bringing about perfect digestion. If food is cooked, the enzymes (unorganized ferments) and germs (organized ferments), which find a welcome host in the food, are killed; and the tendency is for cooked food to go into a state of fermentation much earlier than raw food. The germs, when unopposed by the body's enzymes, cause acetous fermentation in carbohydrate foods, and putrefactive fermentation in nitrogenous foods. The acetous fermentation, when kept up for any length of time, causes catarrhal diseases, while the putrefactive decay causes glandular inflammations and ulcerations of the mucous membrane, and tuberculosis in those of tuberculous diathesis.
In this correlation of germs with the chemic medium we see the different points of view of the good involved and evolved by each element.
The influence of bacteria is good when it helps the enzymes to perfect digestion; then we see the same germ causing the breaking-down and liquefying of the surplus food, the purpose being to get it out of the bowels. Before a toleration to this irritation--toxin poisoning--is developed, diarrhea, carrying off the fermenting food, is developed. But enervation follows if the habit of overeating is continued, and the diarrhea--which is a conservative effort to rid the body of offending debris--is abandoned as a conservative measure; and such affections as gastritis, duodenitis, pancreatitis, jaundice, inflammation of the gall-bladder, liver insufficiency causing diabetes, and other affections, such as pelvic inflammation, ulcerations, etc., are developed.
These so-called diseases (affections is a better word) are caused by the toxins generated from the action of bacteria setting up fermentation in carbohydrate foods. The constant acidulation from toxin absorption builds every catarrhal disease known.
At first the acid stimulates nerve resistance--over-stimulates--and an extra secretion of enzymes, which are alkaline, to combat the toxin, which is acid poisoning. This overwork causes enervation and inhibition of secretions and excretions, which total autotoxernia. Before a toleration evolves, we see the toxins eliminated by an exanthematous process--a diarrhea or an eruptive fever. The evolution of this entire phenomenon starts with indigestion, which develops acid. The local effect of the acid is to irritate the mucous membrane, causing an inflow of secretion to neutralize the acid or cause a diarrhea, coryza, bronchorrhea; or, instead of elimination by the mucous membrane, the toxin may be thrown out by the skin in the form of eczema or eruptive fevers. When elimination takes place through the mucous membrane, it is called catarrh. In these cases the throat and nose may become inflamed, the tonsils enlarge, and adenoids develop. Any of the mucous membranes may become involved in this elimination. In the developing of these affections, the influence of germs may be said to be bad; but even the feeble-minded should see that the evil resulting from the influence of the bacteria is the result of an overworked good.
When the same bacteria cause putrefaction of the nitrogenous foods, when those foods are taken in larger quantities than can be digested, offensive gases are given off, which irritate the mucous membrane, causing a resistance to absorption similar to that which we see resulting from the fermentation of the carbohydrates. But when the conservative effort fails, and the toxins are absorbed, they cause inflammation of the lymphatic glands; and, as these glands are everywhere, all parts of the body are more or less affected. It is the special function of these glands to arrest the toxins of acetous or of putrefactive fermentation, and neutralize their effects; but where the cause of infection is kept in operation for a great length of time, the body's conservative defenses are overcome, and we see those of the tuberculous diathesis developing pulmonary tuberculosis, or tubercular inflammations of other parts of the body; those of the gouty diathesis building rheumatism, arthritis, stone in those organs where stone is usually formed, limy deposits in the heart and arteries, and old-age diseases, such as arteriosclerosis, cancer, etc.; and those of the nervous diathesis building neurasthenia, tabes dorsalis, and other cerebro-spinal affections. Organic diathesis will be manifesting in the giving-down of vulnerable organs.
All influences that break down resistance become allies of the first and primary cause of inflammations- namely, bacterial fermentation of the food taken in excess of digestive power.
What is the real part played by bacteria? That of auxiliaries to the unorganized ferments--enzymes. The time must come when the germ, which is now believed by most of the profession to be the cause of disease, will be recognized as necessary to the perfect action of the enzymes; and when bacteria appear to be the cause of disease, it is when, through enervation, the digestive ferments fail to be generated in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements. The simplest form in which I can state the truth about this question is this: Germs act as pollen to the various enzymes of the body, aiding digestion and assimilation--cell-building; when there are not enough bacteria, tissue renewal is slow and imperfect; when there are too many, tissue retrogression is too rapid. Cooked food favors bacterial, or organized, ferment preponderance, because cooking kills the unorganized and organized ferments, and both are needed to carry on the body's digestion. Raw foods--fruit and vegetables--favor unorganized-ferment digestion, because these foods carry vitamins, which are unorganized ferments--enzymes.
In states of enervation, enzymic secretions run low, and, as a result, so-called bacterial fermentation and infection take place. What is bacterial infection? Poisoning by absorption of the toxins of putrefaction, set up in animal foods by the bacteria of fermentation. Bacteriology declares that infection is caused by germs through the toxins they secrete. But this is as impossible as producing something out of nothing. How can yeast raise dough? It cannot. Yeast causes fermentation of starch; as a result of fermentation, gas is formed, and the gas lifts the dough; the bacteria do not lift; the starch cannot lift; but a third element, which is liberated by the combining of the two principal elements, can and does lift the dough.
The Philosophy of Toxin Poisoning
When meat is eaten beyond the digestive capacity, bacteria, which are omnipresent, set up fermentation in the undigested portion. As a consequence, toxin is liberated. Toxin is a potentiality of meat, but without the influence of the bacteria of fermentation this particular potentiality would never be developed. Meat without bacterial fermentation is non-toxic; bacteria without protein and an environment favoring fermentation are free from ptomain or toxin poisons. This poison is potential in meat, but, to cause it to materialize, a compounding of four elements is necessary--namely, bacteria, protein, moisture, and heat. Without this compounding, the potential--toxin--may never develop; or, if sufficient enzyme be added, the energy, instead of developing as toxin, becomes body and lifegiving.
Bacteria are not toxic per se; carbohydrates are not toxic per se; bacteria and carbohydrates combined are not toxic until the environment favors fermentation--until moisture and heat are added; then alcohol or acid is evolved. These two evolved elements did not exist before, except in potentiality.
Another very important point to keep in mind is that alcohol and acetic acid inhibit the action of unorganized ferments, while organized ferments--bacteria--build and thrive for a time in such an environment; but when fermentation is ended, the germs which caused it are consumed by their own products.
The Limitation of Putrefactive Fermentation
While on this subject, it may be well to observe that vaccine, syphilitic and other viruses from various forms of putrefaction, are inhibited in their action, if not entirely annulled, when the one vaccinated is normal in energy, and has a normal amount of enzymes and alkalinity of the fluids and tissues of the body. If putrefaction has spent its force, the toxins of vaccine and syphilis virus are impotent. Cadavers are not poison all the time.
Bacterial fermentation flourishes in a state of the body where acidity predominates. If no food be taken, however, the fermentation comes to an end, and the bacteria, like Alexander the Great, sigh for more worlds to conquer. Fasting and elimination prevent the body from becoming pickled.
The so-called contagious diseases attack only those who have been living on a dietary devoid of the baseforming elements.
Why Contagious and Infectious Diseases Have Declined
In the past twenty-five years there have been a constant decline of all contagious diseases, an increase in cleanliness, sanitation, and the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, and, neither last nor least, a decline in the use of drugs. Vegetable and fruit salads are furnished by all first-class eating-houses today, whereas a properly constructed vegetable salad was almost unknown twenty-five years ago.
Cleanliness, correct sanitation, and proper eating will annul the influences that build contagious diseases, and will pretty nearly, if not quite, annul or make void the vaccination disease--vaccinea.
Food properly balanced--given a preponderance of base, or alkaline, elements--prevents fermentation; and, as fermentation is the exciting cause of inflammation and the development of all diseases or affections, such food establishes immunization--rational immunization.
Instead of bacteria stamping disease with individuality, the germs take on individuality in keeping with the chemic changes in the medium. For example, in carbohydrate fermentation the evolved toxin is acetic acid or alcohol; and in nitrogenous fermentation the evolved toxin is putrescin, cadaverin, or sepsin. The bacteria are the same, but the elements on which they act vary very widely. The specificity of the bacterium is that of yeast, capable of starting fermentation; while the toxic properties of starch and meat are potential, and would not evolve without the yeast of fermentation--the bacterium or microbe.
Bacteriologists declare it is no wonder that bacterial toxins (secretions) provoke numerous nutritive changes. The road is no longer to travel back, and so it is no wonder that there are so many kinds of bacteria, when we consider the great variety of chemic mediums in which they are developed. The bacteria not only have their individuality determined for them by the peculiar chemistry of the environment, but also their physical development.
If bacteria were the cause of disease, withholding food would allow them to destroy the patient; whereas the reverse is true. A fed patient is in danger of being overwhelmed by the poison caused by bacterial fermentation, because in disease there is little or no secretion of enzymes to counteract the organized ferments.
Typhoid fever affords a most splendid opportunity to prove that bacterial activity declines with the cessation of the intake of food; and this is true of every disease--of every form of inflammation and fever. Bacterial activity increases or decreases along with the increase and decrease of the intake of food. After the fever is gone, there is a gradual increase in enzymal power, and soon food can be taken and digested.
It should be obvious to every person that the question of overeating must be settled by each individual for himself; for it is a question of personal power--the same as mental and physical efficiency. The fact that one person is efficient is no proof that his next-door neighbor is. The fact that Brown can eat so and so is no reason why Smith can do the same. That Jones can smoke twelve cigars a day is no proof that Johnson can smoke one. It is all a question of energy and enzymal efficiency. Two men of equal power may start life together, and possibly eat the same food in the same amounts. In twenty years they meet. One is full of life and vigor, and up with the times; while the other has deteriorated--gone back in every way. What is the cause? The one who made no progress has broken down his nerve energy by secret vices or mind inactivity. The mind and body must both be active to evolve full efficiency.
Everything else being equal, why should the man who smokes have as much resistance and efficiency as the man who does not? If two men of equal nerve energy smoke, and one adds coffee to his dissipations, it stands to reason that the one who has but one bad habit has the more resistance.
Two men of equal power start life together. One worries; the other does not. The one who worries dies of hardening of the arteries, twenty-five years before the other.
Two men persist in overeating and taxing their resistance with equal amounts of toxin poisoning. Both have headache. One takes drugs for relief, and dies of heart paralysis at thirty to thirty-five; the other takes no relief, gets over his headaches at fifty, and dies of premature old age at sixty.